IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol. 51(6): 70-141, 2013.
1. Platform Business Models for Smart Cities: From Control and Value to Governance and Public Value
Nils Walravens; Pieter Ballon
This article presents a theoretical framework for the analysis of platform business models that involve public actors, and city governments in particular, in the value network. It starts from an
established business model framework and expands it to include an additional set of parameters required to successfully perform an analysis of the business models of new (mostly digital) services
offered by cities. It then applies this framework to several divergent cases from the mobile services sector in which city governments are involved as part of their efforts to become “smarter
Editorial comments: "In more detail, the first article, by Walravens et al., offers a theoretical framework for the analysis of platform business models that involve smart city stakeholders. It guides the first steps any city has to take to gauge the applicability and return on investment of deployed smart city technologies, and thus paves way for the subsequent articles in this Feature Topic."
2. Architectural Implications of Smart City Business Models: An Evolutionary Perspective
Catherine E. A. Mulligan; Magnus Olsson
Smart cities have rapidly become a hot topic within technology communities, and promise both improved delivery of services to end users and reduced environmental impact in an era of unprecedented
urbanization. Both large hightech companies and grassroots citizen-led initiatives have begun exploring the potential of these technologies. Significant barriers remain to the successful rollout
and deployment of business models outlined for smart city applications and services, however. Most of these barriers pertain to an ongoing battle between two main schools of thought for system
architecture, ICT and telecommunications, proposed for data management and service creation. Both of these system architectures represent a certain type of value chain and the legacy perspective
of the respective players that wish to enter the smart city arena. Smart cities services, however, utilize components of both the ICT industry and mobile telecommunications industries, and do not
benefit from the current binary perspective of system architecture. The business models suggested for the development of smart cities require a longterm strategic view of system architecture
evolution. This article discusses the architectural evolution required to ensure that the rollout and deployment of smart city technologies is smooth through acknowledging and integrating the
strengths of both the system architectures proposed.
Editorial comments: "The second article, by Mulligan et al., follows up on the above article and discusses the architectural implication of smart city business models. It dwells on the evolution required to ensure that the rollout and deployment of smart city technologies is smooth through integrating the strengths of all system architectures proposed."
3. Random Access for Machine-to-Machine Communication in LTE-Advanced Networks: Issues and Approaches
Monowar Hasan; Ekram Hossain; Dusit Niyato
Machine-to-machine communication, a promising technology for the smart city concept, enables ubiquitous connectivity between one or more autonomous devices without or with minimal human
interaction. M2M communication is the key technology to support data transfer among sensors and actuators to facilitate various smart city applications (e.g., smart metering, surveillance and
security, infrastructure management, city automation, and eHealth). To support massive numbers of machine type communication (MTC) devices, one of the challenging issues is to provide an
efficient way for multiple access in the network and to minimize network overload. In this article, we review the M2M communication techniques in Long Term Evolution- Advanced cellular networks
and outline the major research issues. Also, we review the different random access overload control mechanisms to avoid congestion caused by random channel access of MTC devices. To this end, we
propose a reinforcement learning-based eNB selection algorithm that allows the MTC devices to choose the eNBs (or base stations) to transmit packets in a self-organizing fashion.
Editorial comments: "The third article, by Hasan et al., focuses on wireless access technologies, notably machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, which will be central in smart city deployments. The authors provide a review of M2M communication techniques in Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) cellular networks and outline major research issues related, for example, to the random access channel and packet transmission in a self-organizing manner. "
4. Energy-Efficient Wideband Cable Access Networks in Future Smart Cities
Zuqing Zhu; Ping Lu; Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues; Yonggang Wen
The Internet explosion makes energy consumption of the ICT sector a global concern. Nowadays, the power consumption of access networks increases rapidly due to the rollout of broadband services.
Cable access networks provide Internet access over the existing cable television systems. Among all wired access networks, they have the second biggest user base, which is still growing fast due
to the release of the new industry standard, DOCSIS 3.0. Therefore, we expect that cable access networks will play an important role in the ICT sector of future smart cities. In order to boost up
bidirectional throughput, DOCSIS 3.0 introduces the channel bonding technology, which could lead to increased power consumption if not properly managed. In this article, we present a few
energy-saving algorithms that could be used by the cable operators to improve the energy efficiency of cable access networks using channel bonding. The discussions cover both the network-wide
energy-saving algorithm and the customer-side energy-saving algorithm, and provide investigations on the trade-offs between energy-saving and other network performance metrics, including packet
delay and protocol overhead. Our numerical results suggest that effective energy saving can be achieved in wideband cable access networks with the proposed algorithms, and the packet delay and
protocol overhead can be reduced if we choose the key parameters properly.
Editorial comments: "The fourth article, by Zhu et al., focuses on wired backbone and data offloading technologies, notably the emerging wideband cable access. While mainly used for multimedia transmission today, the recently introduced channel bonding technique in DOCSIS3.0 allows for bidirectional data transfer and is thus of increasing interest to smart city deployments offering services to people and machines. "
5. Enabling Smart Cities through a Cognitive Management Framework for the Internet of Things
Panagiotis Vlacheas; Raffaele Giaffreda; Vera Stavroulaki; Dimitris Kelaidonis; Vassilis Foteinos; George Poulios; Panagiotis Demestichas; Andrey Somov; Abdur Rahim Biswas; Klaus Moessner
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to substantially support sustainable development of future smart cities. This article identifies the main issues that may prevent IoT from playing this crucial role, such as the heterogeneity among connected objects and the unreliable nature of associated services. To solve these issues, a cognitive management framework for IoT is proposed, in which dynamically changing real-world objects are represented in a virtualized environment, and where cognition and proximity are used to select the most relevant objects for the purpose of an application in an intelligent and autonomic way. Part of the framework is instantiated in terms of building blocks and demonstrated through a smart city scenario that horizontally spans several application domains. This preliminary proof of concept reveals the high potential that self-reconfigurable IoT can achieve in the context of smart cities.
Editorial comments: "The fifth article, by Vlacheas et al., focuses on management solutions for the above outlined technologies and the data they create. The authors recognize the heterogeneous nature of the smart city technology landscape, and thus call for cognitive and virtualization mechanisms to facilitate a scalable and sustainable uptake of these technologies."
6. Fostering ParticipAction in Smart Cities: A Geo-Social Crowdsensing Platform
Giuseppe Cardone; Luca Foschini; Paolo Bellavista; Antonio Corradi; Cristian Borcea, Manoop Talasila; Curtmola
This article investigates how and to what extent the power of collective although imprecise intelligence can be employed in smart cities. The main visionary goal is to automate the organization of spontaneous and impromptu collaborations of large groups of people participating in collective actions (i.e., participAct), such as in the notable case of urban crowdsensing. In a crowdsensing environment, people or their mobile devices act as both sensors that collect urban data and actuators that take actions in the city, possibly upon request. Managing the crowdsensing process is a challenging task spanning several socio-technical issues: from the characterization of the regions under control to the quantification of the sensing density needed to obtain a certain accuracy; from the evaluation of a good balance between sensing accuracy and resource usage (number of people involved, network bandwidth, battery usage, etc.) to the selection of good incentives for people to participAct (monetary, social, etc.). To tackle these problems, this article proposes a crowdsensing platform with three main original technical aspects: an innovative geo-social model to profile users along different variables, such as time, location, social interaction, service usage, and human activities; a matching algorithm to autonomously choose people to involve in participActions and to quantify the performance of their sensing; and a new Android-based platform to collect sensing data from smart phones, automatically or with user help, and to deliver sensing/actuation tasks to users.
Editorial comments: "The sixth article, by Cardone et al., focuses on crowdsourcing and investigates how and to what extent the power of collective intelligence can be employed in smart cities. The authors introduce an innovative geo-social model to profile users and a real-world Android-based platform to collect sensing data from smartphones. "
7. Trace Analysis and Mining for Smart Cities: Issues, Methods, and Applications
Gang Pan; Guande Qi; Wangsheng Zhang; Shijian Li; and Zhaohui Wu; Laurence Tianruo Yang
Traces of moving objects in a city, which depict lots of semantics concerning human mobility and city dynamics, are becoming increasingly important. In this article, we first give a brief introduction to trace data; then we present six research issues in trace analysis and mining, and survey the state-of-the-art methods; finally, five promising application domains in smart cities are discussed.
Editorial comments: "The seventh article, by Pan et al., focuses on trace analysis and data mining of the big data accumulated through above-outlined M2M or crowdsourced means. The authors outline six precise research issues related to trace analysis and mining, then survey the state of the art in this field, and finally discuss promising application domains in smart cities."
8. Bootstrapping Smart Cities through a Self-Sustainable Model Based on Big Data Flows
Ignasi Vilajosana; Jordi Llosa; Borja Martinez; Marc Domingo-Prieto; Albert Angles; Xavier Vilajosana; Worldsensing
We have a clear idea today about the necessity and usefulness of making cities smarter, the potential market size, and trials and tests. However, it seems that business around Smart Cities is having difficulties taking off and is thus running short of projected potentials. This article looks into why this is the case and proposes a procedure to make smart cities happen based on big data exploitation through the API stores concept. To this end, we first review involved stakeholders and the ecosystem at large. We then propose a viable approach to scale business within that ecosystem. We also describe the available ICT technologies and finally exemplify all findings by means of a sustainable smart city application. Over the course of the article, we draw two major observations, which are seen to facilitate sustainable smart city development. First, independent smart city departments (or the equivalent) need to emerge, much like today’s well accepted IT departments, which clearly decouple the political element of the improved city servicing from the underlying technologies. Second, a coherent three-phase smart city rollout is vital, where in phase 1 utility and revenues are generated; in phase 2 only-utility service is also supported; and in phase 3, in addition, a fun/leisure dimension is permitted.
Editorial comments: "The eighth article, by Vilajosana et al., recognizes that business around smart cities has difficulties in taking off and proposes a procedure to bootstrap the market through an innovative big data API store concept. The article scrutinizes the smart city stakeholders, and outlines why and how big data flows can be channelized to create long-term value for cities."
9. The Pursuit of Citizens’ Privacy: A Privacy-Aware Smart City Is Possible
Antoni Martínez-Ballesté; Pablo A. Pérez-Martínez; Agusti Solanas
Cities are growing steadily, and the process of urbanization is a common trend in the world. Although cities are getting bigger, they are not necessarily getting better. With the aim to provide citizens with a better place to live, a new concept of a city was born: the smart city. The real meaning of smart city is not strictly defined, but it has gained much attention, and many cities are taking action in order to be considered “smart.” These smart cities, founded on the use of information and communication technologies, aim at tackling many local problems, from local economy and transportation to quality of life and e-governance. Although technology helps to solve many of these local problems, their ability to gather unprecedented amounts of information could endanger the privacy of citizens. In this article we identify a number of privacy breaches that can appear within the context of smart cities and their services. We leverage some concepts of previously defined privacy models and define the concept of citizens’ privacy as a model with five dimensions: identity privacy, query privacy, location privacy, footprint privacy and owner privacy. By means of several examples of smart city services, we define each privacy dimension and show how existing privacy enhancing technologies could be used to preserve citizens’ privacy.
Editorial comments: "The ninth and final article, by Martinez-Balleste et al., identifies a number of privacy breaches that can appear within the context of smart cities and offered services. The authors define the concept of citizens’ privacy as a model along five KPIs. They also show how existing privacy enhancing technologies can be used to preserve citizens’ privacy. "